This segment includes the issues, presents a survey of contemporary images of traffickiing, then focuses on early US history in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, reviewing the impact of the original campaigns addressing ‘white slavery’ on commercial sex, as well as punitive and repressive laws targeting Asians and African Americans. (work-in-progress) Contact: Carol Leigh
This work includes short segments of a history focusing on the impact of anti-trafficking campaigns on sex workers within the last century, and the role of the US in a campaign to further the criminalization of sex work around the globe.
Anti-trafficking is a sacred cow, but behind this humanitarian concern is a century-old movement that historically reflects xenophobia and prostitution abolitionism. This trailer offers a historical review of a 19th century anti-trafficking campaigns and a survey of trafficking portrayals in the media. “When I first heard about the resurgence of the white slavery/trafficking framework, I knew that I had to show how this moral panic has historically resulted in discriminatory immigration policies, increased criminalization of sex work and few solutions for individuals who are victims of forced labor.”